Overtime Brewing Company
Why you need to check them out
One of the co-owners stood up from his seat at the bar, giving a big bear hug to two friends who had just walked in for lunch, then strolled over not five minutes later to greet more friends settling down at a table next to the big, sunny windows. The bartender/waitress and the cook, their interactions frequently framed in the open kitchen door as the food made its way out to the lively diners, seemed to share an easy comradery that spread itself around to everyone else hanging out in the Overtime Brewing Company.
We sat at our table next to the windows, basking in the warm spring sunshine. Morgan, the bartender/waitress, stopped casually by the table. “What can I get you guys to drink?” she asked. We couldn’t decide between all the intriguing Overtime brews chalked up on the board, so she brought us a few tasters to try – Drinkin’ Beer, Jasmine Green Tea Ale, and Government Shutbrown Blackberry Ale. The Jasmine Green Tea was smooth and light, but the Government Shutbrown was hands down the winner of the day with its rich berry overtones and nutty savor. Plus, we couldn’t resist its delightfully tongue in cheek name.
A tall, chilly pint of that Blackberry Ale before us and our lunch order making its way through the kitchen, we found ourselves resting our elbows on the table and easily slipping into the Brewing Company’s laid-back, community feel. There was happy laughter from the young family at the table behind us, the hum of earnest conversation from a couple across the way, and the ding of the cook’s bell announcing that someone’s food was ready to be enjoyed. The slightly industrial décor also had a certain small-town coziness to it, with locally inspired murals on the walls and well-loved board games in one corner of the bar.
When our food arrived, our quiet conversation faded away into contented silence as we settled in and munched away - a juicy portabella mushroom burger on a Fort Bragg Bakery bun, a vibrant house salad with just the right amount of tangy dressing, dripping garlic fries perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle, and the ideal ham and cheese panini. We were in lunchtime heaven.
As we slowly savored the last few crumbs of our food and the final drops of our ale, Morgan came back around to check on us. We took the opportunity to ask her about Overtime Brewing’s story. She told us about the two friends, Dave and Dano, who started out brewing in their garage just for fun over 20 years ago. She herself met the guys a while back on a community softball team. Soon, they were inviting her to join all their friends at their frequent garage parties, which were really an excuse to get everyone’s opinion on their latest brew. It quickly became obvious that they were passionate about crafting good quality, creative beer. Finally, at the insistence of Morgan and other enthusiastic friends and neighbors, Dave and Dano took the plunge and made their hobby into an official business.
Named for the fact that the brewers and owners have other, “normal” full time jobs and therefore are working “overtime” to create their tasty beers, Overtime officially opened to the public last June. Since then they’ve immersed themselves in the greater Mendocino community, seeking to work with other local businesses and organizations to create sustainable employment and a healthy local economy. And we love the way they’re doing it! So if you ask us where to go for a laid-back lunch and a great glass of beer, we are totally sending you to Overtime Brewing Company up in Fort Bragg. Trust us, it’s worth it.
PS. Overtime Brewing has some events up their sleeve! You can catch them at the Boonville Beer Festival on April 27th, then at Hops in Humboldt on August 24th. Plus, they may perhaps be contemplating the possibility of hosting a community trivia night on Wednesdays…. We know how we’ll be spending our Wednesday evenings once that starts up!